A meditation on Mary rooted in the teaching of Fr. Giussani: we look to Mary in order to see Jesus

Mary is the gate that leads us into the reality of the Incarnation. God, in the wisdom of His pedagogy, has always wanted that there be a time of preparation and a time of fulfillment. We see this dynamic in the preaching of John the Baptist with regards to Jesus, and, even earlier, in the announcements of the prophets. For the Church, as early as the existence of the Garden of Eden, the Incarnation of the word was prophesized. This road from the implicit to the explicit was entirely woven into the pedagogy of Fr. Giussani, who always affirmed that he wanted to take up again the method of God. Many times in his teaching, he led us to look at Mary in order to see Jesus. Or, better, he led us to enter into the gaze of the Virgin so that we might gaze at her Son. This recourse to the Blessed Mother was not foreign for Fr. Giussani. Mary, in fact, was above all for him the gate of the Incarnation. She was chosen so that she could be the first house of God in the world, the first place in which everything that was present was of God, of God who came to dwell amongst us: “…The house of Nazareth is the first development of that house that is the womb of Mary.” To learn how to stay in front of the reality of the Incarnation, how to see it, how to welcome it, we must learn from Mary. “The figure of the Madonna is essential and without substitute for our understanding of the Christian event…for our recognition that the invisible has entered into the visibility of our actions, that the Mystery has penetrated into the flesh of our experience, the flesh of our relationships, the flesh of the hour that passes, of the book to read, of the sock to mend.”

And what do we learn from the gaze of Mary, from the position of her heart in front of that baby who was God? That God had chosen her to be completely His, in order to give Himself to all men. “The superabundance of mercy that God has toward man, chooses a point, a small point that humanly speaking seems like nothing; he makes it a testimony of something as great as the design of His mercy.”

With these reflections Fr. Giussani was not exalting just Mary, but each one of us, and he was helping us to see what had happened to us, what was happening in the present moment, our mission in the midst of the others in the world. For this reason we must let ourselves be led by the hand by Mary: “The Madonna is our mother. It is through the abandon of the Madonna, the pleading of the Madonna…that the security of our life is grandly affirmed… in her Son, she will save the existence to which each one of us is called.”

But, the simplest way to entrust ourselves to Mary is to invoke her. Veni per Mariam. “Repeat this formula every day, in every hour.”

In Mary Fr. Giussani saw all of created reality in its’ movement towards God. He was so aware of this dynamism that he was able to say, “All things are joined together in the word of the Virgin Mary.” Mary is the fullness of man “who is exalted to the point that she becomes a necessary instrument of one’s relationship with God.” She is truly “the synthesis of all humanity…and not only of humanity, but also of everything that creation brings with itself from eternity.”

Guided by Mary, we can faithfully go towards Jesus. Accompanied by Fr. Giussani, we can enter into the mystery of the Divine Motherhood. In this school realized by Mary as she gathers us close to her and indicates Her son, it is possible to be joyful, amiable, and it becomes possible that our anguish be replaced by supplication and gratitude. In the words of St. Paul: “The peace of God that goes beyond every possible intelligence, because it is a gift made to our life. Guard your hearts and your minds in an experience of the ever more complete realization of this peace.”


«Madonna col Bambino», figurine attributed to Andrea Pisano, Museo dell’Opera del Duomo, Firenze.
Massimo Camisasca

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